The eye, particularly its cornea, is one of the most sensitive areas of the body. Moreover, the density of sensory nerves in the cornea can be up to 500 times that of the skin. Feeling a pain in and around it may cause fear, especially if you really do not know what’s causing it. As it is one of the most used and abused part of the body, it is just common that it will, at some time, be exposed to different threats – both without and within the body.
Pain in the eye, which is also known as opthalmalgia, may be due to a number of reasons. Sometimes, when it results from an injury, it is easy to understand why the pain exists. There are times, however, when the reason for the experienced pain is unknown and not easily measureable.
Eye pain can sometimes be caused by conditions that involves the eyeball or the orbit (also called orbital pain). At times, it may be caused by the conditions of the structures around the eye (called ocular pain). Moreover, one could not automatically infer the severity of the pain by just understanding the level of pain experienced. As such, a fairly moderate eye problem such as an abrasion of the cornea can be quite painful. There are other eye problems more severe but the level of pain is barely felt, such as in the case of cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, the most common type of glaucoma, or a detached retina.
The various sensations in different intensities that a painful eye may be described with, indicate an accompanying symptoms. This can help detect the cause of your discomfort, which could be any of these– a sharp, stabbing sensation, a burning sensation, throbbing, a dull ache, as well as a feeling that something is inside the eye. Moreover, the eye pain may also be accompanied by a blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, and even sensitivity to light.
Pain within the surface of the eye (Ocular Pain)
How do you identify the cause as well as the possible eye problem that may be attributed to the eye pain? Experts say that they may be one of these.
When pain seems to be coming from the inside or within the eyes, any of these may be the culprit for such painful experience:
- Foreign body in the cornea. Any particle that might have been blown into the eyes and becomes embedded to the surface of the cornea may cause pain that may range from mild to severe pain. Any time this kind of pain is experienced, it is important that it is addressed immediately. Otherwise, the foreign body in the cornea may cause the eyes to be infected.
- Corneal Abrasion. Most corneal abrasions are nothing to be worried about, as they normally heal on their own. However, they really be unpleasant and may cause sensitivity to lights.
- Dry eyes. This is another cause of a pain in the eye and may sometimes lead to corneal abrasion since in this condition, there is not enough moisture in the surface of the eye that will allow the cornea to move as without scratching off the surface of the eye.
- Eye irritation caused by contact lens, conjunctivitis, sty, infection of the oil glands in the edge of the eyelids (known as blepharitis), may also be the reason for the pain in the eye that a person may be experiencing.
Pain behind the eyes (Orbital Pain)
As for the pain felt within and behind the eyes, the following have been reported as the main causes of these pain:
- This condition results as the pressure inside the eyes intensifies. Other common indicators of glaucoma are headache, loss of vision, as well as nausea.
- Optic neuritis. Some experience pain in the eyes as a result of a swelling of the nerve that connects the back of the eyeball to the brain due to viral or bacterial infection.
- Sinusitis, migraine, iritis (inflammation of the iris), as well as injury, are also identified as the triggers for the orbital paint that some experience.
A pain in the eye may not necessarily require a doctor’s attention. However, in cases that you feel the pain has become unusually severe, you are having difficulty seeing clearly, or that you feel like throwing up, moving your eyes becomes almost impossible, you notice your eyes bulging, or that a chemical has been sprayed or touches the inner area of your eyes, you will need to see an Ophthalmologist right away.